Early in 2013, Yammer was integrated into Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM 2011. The activation of Yammer for use with Dynamics CRM is a user-initiated process that requires establishing a Yammer account and going through a variety of subsequent steps. The user can then establish messaging rules; for example, Yammer can be set up to post a message when a lead is created.

This summer, customers using Microsoft’s Office 365 will be able to use Yammer instead of their existing newsfeed, and in the fall, Microsoft will offer a single sign-on product. Yammer will be included at no cost for enterprise agreement licensing customers. At that time, Yammer will also be integrated with the collaboration tools of Office Web Apps so that it can be used during editing and co-editing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. SharePoint users will have the option of replacing the newsfeed with a Yammer group feed.

Longer-term plans include integrating Yammer with e-mail, instant messaging and video conferencing. Office 365 is already updated on at least a quarterly basis, and Microsoft plans to update the social elements with the same frequency, beginning this year. Microsoft also plans to continue offering Basic Yammer at no cost and Enterprise Yammer at $3 per month per user as standalone products. With a broad range of business productivity tools, Microsoft is in a good position to make social networking a part of work processes for many people.

Enterprise social networks are likely to become pervasive over the relatively near term. “More than three-fourths of the companies in North America have at least one social network in place, being used for everything from sales to innovation management,” says Fauscette. “We expect enterprise social networking to become part of a unified communications backbone. One of the next steps in increasing the value of the ESNs will be to develop effective ways to mine knowledge contained in the activity stream.”

Social trends to watch

Analyzing organizational connections

Understanding the patterns of interactions among people and teams in organizations provides insights about how resources are being used and helps improve collaboration. Often, the formal structure of an organization differs from the way in which workers actually interact.

VoloMetrix analyzes scheduled meetings, conference calls, e-mail and instant messaging to identify communication patterns in near real time, and produces a variety of visualizations of the results.

“Using our Enterprise Sociograph, organizations can find out how strongly each group is connected to the others and how time is being spent,” says Phil Friedman, VP of product marketing at VoloMetrix. “They can view the connections by function, geography, topic, project or other dimension, and see how well their employee’s activities are aligned with the intended corporate strategy.”

Unifying social networking across UC platforms

One of the challenges of social networking is that the many different products available do not communicate with each other, which limits user interaction. NextPlane offers federation of unified communication (UC) platforms through a service called UC Exchange, which allows users of different UC platforms to interact.

For example, users of IBM Sametime can communicate with Google Apps, Jive OpenFire and Cisco’s Jabber, once the appropriate connections are established by the organizations’ IT departments.

In addition, UC Exchange federates UC platforms with Skype, and with a variety of social media networks such as YammerChatter and Twitter. “Knowledge flows through communications,” says Farzin Shahidi, founder and CEO of NextPlane. “UC Exchange accelerates interactions and business processes by enabling real-time communication and collaboration across organizational boundaries.”

Socializing geolocation

People using social networks can already opt in to services that use the GPS capabilities of their phones to let others know their location, to facilitate spontaneous or planned meetings. Another trend, called “SoLoMo,” brings together social, local and mobile marketing initiatives to allow advertisers to present offers appropriate for an individual’s location and interests.

Sometimes users want to get a recommendation about a restaurant or other service in their area. Maponicscompiles and licenses databases of location information used by companies that provide recommendations and coupon offers to consumers.

“Often, travelers will want to find a store or restaurant in a neighborhood similar to their own, not just the nearest one,” says Darrin Clement, CEO of Maponics. “Our data—which includes not just the location of businesses but also information about neighborhood boundaries as well as other layers of information such as crime rates and demographics—is used by companies for analytics that helps them provide the right offers to each individual.”

View the full article at: KMWorld Magazine

The NextPlane Team